Don’t look now, but as we near the midway point of the 2015 college football season, the team leading the best division is college football in the Texas A&M Aggies.
On Saturday night, Texas A&M extended its undefeated start to the season with a 30-17 home victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs to get to 5-0 on the season.
Maybe it’s because of the level of teams A&M has played until this point, but the Aggies haven’t exactly been darlings of the media or the AP Polls this season, ranking 14th in the country despite an undefeated record. But with a win over a quality SEC opponent, the Aggies have made another statement that this year’s team is nothing like last year’s 8-5 squad.
The most noticeable improvement for the Aggies has come courtesy of one the offseason’s most high-profile hires. After coming over from his defensive coordinator position at LSU, John Chavis has wasted much time in transforming the Texas A&M defense that has ranked last in the SEC in total defense each of the last two seasons.
The improvement on defense starts up-front on the defensive line, where Texas A&M has been a nightmare for opposing offenses. The Aggies have registered 19 sacks on the season so far, the most in the SEC through five games. Of those 19 sacks, 7.5 of them belong to Preseason All-American Myles Garrett. Garrett has picked up right where he left off after an impressive freshman campaign a year ago and should continue to strike fear into quarterback’s this season. Right alongside Garrett is junior defensive lineman Daeshon Hall, who has also contributed five sacks this season.
Even when Texas A&m has struggled the past couple of seasons, the offense has rarely been the issue and it certainly doesn’t look to be one this season. Just like the defensive unit, the Aggies offense is centered around a playmaking sophomore in starting quarterback Kyle Allen. Allen fended up super-freshman Kyler Murray in the preseason to retain his starting role and has performed efficiently in 2015. Through five games, he’s completed 64 percent of his passing attempts and has thrown 13 touchdowns to only two interceptions.
Of course, there may not be a quarterback in the country with more weapons th choose from than Allen. The Aggies feature what might be the deepest receiving core in the entire country, but despite returning players like Speedy Noil or Josh Reynolds, the best playmaker on the Texas A&M offense has been true freshman receiver Christian Kirk. Kirk has been downright electriying in the start of his college career, both in the passing and return games.
So, what do the Aggies have to do to gain a little more respect around the country? Well, after taking a bye this Saturday, the Aggies will welcome the Alabama Crimson Tide back to College Station to avenge the 59-0 beatdown they took from the Tide in Tuscaloosa last year.
The Aggies have already picked up quality wins this season over Arizona State and Mississippi State, but it appears they’ll need an even more high-profile win to start being taken seriously as a College Football Playoff contender.